Are Standards Improving PSIM?

By John Honovich, Published Oct 10, 2009, 08:00pm EDT

Undoubtedly, the lack of standards are a major barrier to the growth of the PSIM market. Without standards for video management, access control and other security systems, each PSIM manufacturer is forced to develop customized support for the dozens of manufacturers in the industry. It's time consuming, costly and sometimes manufacturers refuse support. (For background, see our report on PSIM's problems)

The drive towards IP camera standards has renewed optimism that standards will help PSIM.

Vidsys is the most vocal PSIM manufacturer about the value of standards including being a board member of the PSIA standards group [link no longer available], an organization whose mission is to bring standards to various security systems [link no longer available].

In another sign of Vidsys public push for standards, on October 28th, they are running a webinar titled, "Standards Fuel Security Industry Growth." Vidsys will discuss "how new physical security standards for IP-enabled security devices" are enhancing PSIM and overall security.

While standards may eventually help PSIM, today it's just hype:

  • The only interoperability specifications being promoted today are for IP cameras. 
  • IP camera interoperability is of little use for PSIM. PSIM systems should and usually do connect to VMS systems that connect to cameras.  Connecting a PSIM to hundreds of IP cameras poses security risks (opening up connections to hundreds of devices), could reduce the camera's performance (by demanding an additional stream), and may not support the variety of IP camera manufacturers (because of the limited support of these specifications today).
  • PSIA's support for anything but IP cameras is simply conceptual today. The draft specification for DVR/NVR interoperability [link no longer available] was just posted this week (analysis of this next week). There's not even a draft specification released for access control, storage, intrusion, etc. Any practical support for these systems is years away.
  • Unfortunately, access, VMS, storage and intrusion are key subsystems for PSIM deployments.

Because of these reasons, emerging 'standards' will not make a practical difference for PSIM systems for years to come.
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